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Hobbies

Rebecca Bennington Blog Picture

 Here are a few of the ways hobbies can help you along on your path to happiness:

How often to you compare you life to those of others?  Do you watch media and see the glamorized people who seem happy, and wish that you were also happy?  Do you watch reality TV and think about how happy those people must be?  You see them boating, and traveling, and cooking and baking, or a million other things.

First of all, stop watching.  Second, start doing.  If you notice, there are no posts or reality TV shows were all people are doing is sitting around. All of those people are doing something.  Maybe not the RIGHT thing, but at least they are doing SOME thing.  If you agree so far, you should consider getting a hobby.

Hobbies have a place in history.  Before various advances created leisure time people used to have to work.  They had to grow their own food, hunt their meat, and build everything they needed from scratch.  When leisure time became available those previous chores became hobbies.  At first hobbies were considered ‘frivolous’, and a sign of wealth, but as time went on and more people had spare time, more people were able to develop hobbies.

There are some things to consider when selecting hobby.  For instance, is there anything you enjoy already, that you would like to engage in more often or more thoroughly?  Start there.  If not, some other things to consider are:

What resources do you have?  For example, it might be difficult to learn to snow ski if you live in Florida.  There is a good story about a Jamaican bobsled team that could be used here to argue that example. But, you get what I mean.  Read about the limitations below just to check your resources before you pursue something that could result in disappointment.

If you are engaging in a hobby to meet people, what sort of people do you want to meet?  Athletic?  Outdoor types? Intellectuals? Creative people?  Male, female, particular age group?  All of these things can help you determine a hobby you want to pursue.  Maybe you want to start a hobby to get in shape, exercise your mind, improve your finances, or other sort of goal.  Consider these things when you choose your hobby.

Now that you have considered a hobby we can talk about HOW to pursue it.  Yes, it is possible that you may want to learn to sew but you have no idea where to start. Google knows all, so of course you can start there, but there are other ways to explore your new venture as well.  For example, Meetup.com is a website where people with similar interests in a specific geographic area make arrangements to “meet up” to explore those interests together.  Your area might have clubs related to your new interest and they almost always want new members.  Your new interest might have a local or national following that is present on a website, newsletter, or some sort of ongoing educational venue.  Maybe they have conferences related to your interest.

AS with all goals, we need to consider if we have or can get the resources we need to reach the goal.  Here are a few of the issues that might present barriers in your path to starting a hobby, and here are some ways to get around that barrier:

Physical limitations

Depending on the hobby you select you may have a physical limitation that prevents you from pursuing the hobby.  You may need to consider adaptive equipment, and if so, you need to consider the finances required to secure it.  There are many organizations that might be able to help with that.  Send me your situation and I will be happy to help you find potential options.

Hobbies for people with cognitive disabilities:

You may have limitations that prevent you from fiully grasping a hobby that you think you may enjoy.  However, consider that there are many levels to hobbies.  For example, if you enjoy race cars, there are many facets to that hobby.  This could include everything from collecting photos of cars and drivers, to attending races, all the way up to working on race car engines.  If there is a subject that you enjoy don’t rule it out just because you don’t have the ability to pursue it at the highest level.  You can still make it your passion.

Hobbies as a form of relaxation/focus/’me’ time

Hobbies that do/don’t cost money

Hobbies can be expensive, or they can be free.  This will depend on the hobby and what your level of involvement in it will be.  Using race cars as an example, you can collect articles, photos, statistic, and watch or even attend races without much (or any!) cost.  However, if you want to go to school to learn to work on race cars, or follow a racer along a circuit, it will be expensive. Again, don’t let this be a barrier to making it your passion.

 

Hobbies as alternative form of entertainment – offering growth, self esteem, productive uses of time

Hobbies as a route for socialization/networking

Hobbies as a means of becoming educated

Here is a brief list of some hobbies you can consider:

Gardening, candle or soap making, canning and preserving, bee keeping, beer or wine making

Hiking, bicycling, skiing, horse back riding, archery, swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, jogging

Reading, board games, video games, cards,

Making music or listening, dancing, theater or concert viewing, movie watching or reviewing

IT activities such as website building, design, creative aspects

This is not to say that getting a hobby will make you happy.  But, it might be a step along the way.  Hobbies can help to save you from boredom, which gets you out of your own head, which helps you to not linger on negative emotions, and they can help you meet other people if that is something you want to do.

If you would like to talk more about this please sign up for “someone to talk to” on our website.  I would love to help you find something that you enjoy.  I am very much a “hobbyist” and I have enjoyned the benefits of my activities.

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Rebecca Bennington

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